Hebrews 7:14 – The Law of Silence
Is the silence of the Scriptures prohibitive? By that we mean, may one improvise in acts of religious devotion in the absence of a specific “you must not …”?
If the New Testament is silent about a specific matter (e.g., the baptizing of infants, the burning of incense, the use of mechanical instruments in worship), may a person pursue that practice?
Some allege that this is the case. They contend that asking folks to respect the silence of the Scriptures is a human regulation that has no support in the Bible.
They are wrong. Hebrew 7:14 contains the very principle that is the focus of this discussion.
In this context, the sacred writer has noted that there has been a change in the priesthood. The Aaronic priesthood of the Old Testament regime has given way to the better priestly system of the New Testament economy.
It is then suggested that Christ could not serve as a priest “after the order of Aaron” (cf. 8:4). Why not? Because Jesus was descended from the tribe of Judah, and, as to that tribe, Moses spake nothing (i.e., the law was silent; there was no authority) concerning the priesthood. The silence of the law was prohibitive!
If God does not authorize a religious practice, it is forbidden. This principle absolutely must be respected. Underline, therefore, the terms “spake nothing” in Hebrews 7:14, and marginally observe: Silence is prohibitive.
About the Author
Wayne Jackson has written for and edited the Christian Courier since its inception in 1965. He has also written several books on a variety of biblical topics including The Bible and Science, Creation, Evolution, and the Age of the Earth, The Bible on Trial, and a number of commentaries. He lives in Stockton, California with his dear wife, and life-long partner, Betty.